Bengals leading WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is not afraid to talk about the future. The Bengals leading WR is well aware that he could very well be a free man come 2009, as the 31-year-old will be a free agent unless the Bengals either get him a new deal or name them as their franchise player this offseason. So far, the team has not opened talks with Houshmandzadeh, who has stated he’d like to stay in the Queen City despite the team having an awful 2008.
“It’s far away for when it’s my time to decide what I’m going to do and the Browns (Bengals owners) to decide what they want to do with me,” Houshmandzadeh said. Heading into the teams week 8 game with the Texans, T.J. had 46 catches for 458 yards with three touchdowns. Despite Chad Ocho Cinco getting most of the headlines due to his mouth, Houshmandzadeh has taken over as the teams best WR.
So the ball will be in the court of the Bengals, who very well may have a whole new look next season based on how bad the team has played so far in 2008. There has been a lot of talk about Ocho Cinco being moved in the offseason, and if the team is wise, they will give T.J. a new deal and keep him around as the face of the wide out core.
The Bengals used their franchise tag this past offseason on OL Stacy Andrews, and it will be interesting to see if the team doesn’t get Houshmandzadeh locked up if they will go that route. It would be a costly move, but one that would at least assure Cincy one or more seasons with Houshmandzadeh as their top pass catcher.